Author(s): Nicholas LJ, Tredoux C, Daniels P
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Abstract Using an anonymous structured questionnaire to obtain baseline data on knowledge and attitudes of first-year black university students about the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and their attitudes towards homosexuals during 1990, 1991, and 1992 (ns = 1902, 2113, and 1558), the following information was obtained. Students' knowledge of AIDS was inadequate and misconceptions about AIDS transmission prevalent as were prejudiced and exclusionary beliefs about people with AIDS. Little difference was evident on any of the scales over the three-year period. PIP: Three independent cohorts of black, first-year university students completed an anonymous 30-item structured questionnaire about their knowledge and attitudes toward AIDS and their attitudes toward homosexuals. 1902 students were sampled during the university orientation program in 1990, 2113 in 1991, and 1558 in 1992. The students were of mean ages of 20.0, 19.6, and 20.2 years in each of the years, respectively, with each cohort almost equally split between males and females. The subjects were found to have less factual knowledge than in similar studies. For example, 82\% believed that the majority of gay men and women have AIDS. Students' knowledge was generally inadequate and filled with misconceptions about the transmission of AIDS. They had extremely negative attitudes toward homosexuals, somewhat less negative attitudes for people with AIDS, but still more negative than those reported in other studies. Little difference was observed on any of the scales over the three-year period. These findings indicate the need to review and modify existing AIDS education programs in South Africa's secondary schools.
This article was published in Psychol Rep
and referenced in Journal of Community Medicine & Health Education